5 Mistakes of 2013 Temple Must Avoid This Season

Temple Football: 5 Games the Owls Would Like to Do Over

Matt Rhule, Temple football,
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Every athlete has experienced the feeling of utter anguish of something they would like to do over. It’s that first high hanging curveball you threw that went over the little league fence. It’s that catch you didn’t make in the end zone of a high school football game.

Coaches have those moments, too, and Temple coach Matt Rhule had five games he might like to have back from his inaugural season. Here are those five games.

5. Idaho 26, Temple 24

Matt Rhule, Temple football,
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

5. Idaho 26, Temple 24

Matt Rhule, Temple football,
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Facing the No. 125th-ranked rushing defense in the country, Temple attempted 47 passes, 11 of them over 50 yards. The Owls tried to run the ball only 17 times against a team that was gouged in the running game by both Fresno State (63 points) and North Texas State (41 points), two teams closer in talent level to Temple than Idaho was.

4. Fordham 30, Temple 29

Kenny Harper, Temple football,
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

4. Fordham 30, Temple 29

Kenny Harper, Temple football,
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Temple lost to Fordham in pretty much the same way it lost to Idaho: Poor game-planning. The Owls have two legitimate Division I tailbacks in Kenny Harper and Zaire Williams and should have pounded the ball with them behind a 306-pound offensive line, given the fact that Fordham’s defensive line averaged 247 pounds. Even St. Francis of Loretto learned that lesson as tailback Kyle Harbridge was able to gain 297 yards on 29 carries a week later.

3. SMU 59, Temple 49

Kenny Harper, Temple football,
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

3. SMU 59, Temple 49

Kenny Harper, Temple football,
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Temple led 28-7, but instead of running the ball to kill some clock in the second half against a poor SMU run defense, the Owls elected to throw the ball and stop the clock, giving talented SMU QB Garrett Gilbert eight second-half possessions. Gilbert led his team to touchdowns on seven of those possessions. After a 50-yard run by Williams in the first half, the Owl coaches seemed to forget he was on the team, enabling Gilbert to do his damage.

2. UConn 28, Temple 21

Zaire Williams, Temple football,
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2. UConn 28, Temple 21

Zaire Williams, Temple football,
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies had trouble against the Owls’ offensive line and Williams in the first half, as the talented freshman burst up the middle for an 18-yard touchdown with 8:49 left until halftime, giving the Owls a 21-0 lead. Again, the Owls eschewed the running game which allowed the Huskies to come back for the win. Williams, despite averaging seven yards per carry in that game, was allowed only six carries, a real head-scratcher.

1. Rutgers 23, Temple 20

kenny harper, temple football,
Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

1. Rutgers 23, Temple 20

kenny harper, temple football,
Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

TU fans will have to stew over this loss until 2020 because that will be the next time the two schools are scheduled. After the game, RU fans had to thank Rhule for not going for a QB sneak with 4th-and-three inches and his two best athletes (Kyle Friend and P.J. Walker) handling the ball. RU had no timeouts and, if the Owls had gotten four inches, they would have taken three knees. Instead, TU tried a hand-off three yards deep that was stuffed.

Around the Web

  • John

    Thing about the Rutgers game was that the coaches did learn form their mistakes and did run the ball. Their last drive was thing of beauty until the last play. Against Memphis they did run the qb sneak so they do seem to be learning. With any luck, they learned from last year and don’t make the same mistakes this season.